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The Crystal Ceiling: Is there still a distinction between "women’s" and "men’s" fantasy and horror?

I found it interesting, and disappointing, that the panel was all women: Kate Elliott, Charlaine Harris, Nancy Kilpatrick, Jane Kindred, and Malinda Lo.I don’t know how many men volunteered, who picked the panelists, whether it was a man or a woman, but when I walked into that panel and saw all women getting up on the podium, I thought "Here's our conclusion before a word is spoken."

C.H. talked about the organization Sisters In Crime. They count reviews, as they have found that male writers consistently get reviewed far more frequently than female writers, and by a significant ratio. They contact magazines and newspapers to make them aware of this fact.

K.E. spoke of an article she read recently in which a woman in Australia, who was looking at the content of reviews, observed that "Men's work can be flawed but still important. If women's work is considered flawed, that it can't be important."

C.H. mentioned an encounter with somebody at which she was told that she was lucky to have such good sales. She went away from that thinking, "Is it possible that I have good sales because I'm a good writer?"

N.K. said it is far worse for women in the horror field.

Question: is there a difference between men and women's fantasy and horror?

C.H. said yes. It begins with cover choices, marketing, and pay.

At that point, K.E. made what I thought was the most significant contribution to the entire panel. This is something that she has talked about on her LiveJournal from time to time, and that is that the male gaze is still the default cultural point of view. That means, whenever men look at is important, from persons to politics to entertainment. It is important for everybody. Whatever women look at is for women, of lesser significance.

Her daughter went to a quilting show [Correction:] museum. Quilting is largely considered a craft, but not an art, at least by men. Lo and behold, among the many displays by female quilters, there was one by a man. His quilts were labeled as "art" quilts. The rest of them were all crafts.

The rest of the panel was pretty much corroboration of this observation, everybody mentioning incidents or statistics in support.

That male gaze thing certainly holds true in fantasy. Even when women write epic fantasy on a large scale, covering the same sorts of subjects that male writers do, the male writers are interviewed, they are consulted when the subject of fantasy comes up, their works are reviewed everywhere. Very few women get that sort of attention--we can just about name them all.

The conclusion of the panel was not a downer, however. Everybody agreed that one of the ways to change things is to use our voices, and the media available to us. Talking about women's work, its significance, its entertainment value, and who might enjoy it if you like X, Y, or Z, and linking to interesting discussions, is one way of getting the word out about books that are otherwise ignored by the standard media.
sartorias: (Default)
The Crystal Ceiling: Is there still a distinction between "women’s" and "men’s" fantasy and horror?

I found it interesting, and disappointing, that the panel was all women: Kate Elliott, Charlaine Harris, Nancy Kilpatrick, Jane Kindred, and Malinda Lo.I don’t know how many men volunteered, who picked the panelists, whether it was a man or a woman, but when I walked into that panel and saw all women getting up on the podium, I thought "Here's our conclusion before a word is spoken."

C.H. talked about the organization Sisters In Crime. They count reviews, as they have found that male writers consistently get reviewed far more frequently than female writers, and by a significant ratio. They contact magazines and newspapers to make them aware of this fact.

K.E. spoke of an article she read recently in which a woman in Australia, who was looking at the content of reviews, observed that "Men's work can be flawed but still important. If women's work is considered flawed, that it can't be important."

C.H. mentioned an encounter with somebody at which she was told that she was lucky to have such good sales. She went away from that thinking, "Is it possible that I have good sales because I'm a good writer?"

N.K. said it is far worse for women in the horror field.

Question: is there a difference between men and women's fantasy and horror?

C.H. said yes. It begins with cover choices, marketing, and pay.

At that point, K.E. made what I thought was the most significant contribution to the entire panel. This is something that she has talked about on her LiveJournal from time to time, and that is that the male gaze is still the default cultural point of view. That means, whenever men look at is important, from persons to politics to entertainment. It is important for everybody. Whatever women look at is for women, of lesser significance.

Her daughter went to a quilting show [Correction:] museum. Quilting is largely considered a craft, but not an art, at least by men. Lo and behold, among the many displays by female quilters, there was one by a man. His quilts were labeled as "art" quilts. The rest of them were all crafts.

The rest of the panel was pretty much corroboration of this observation, everybody mentioning incidents or statistics in support.

That male gaze thing certainly holds true in fantasy. Even when women write epic fantasy on a large scale, covering the same sorts of subjects that male writers do, the male writers are interviewed, they are consulted when the subject of fantasy comes up, their works are reviewed everywhere. Very few women get that sort of attention--we can just about name them all.

The conclusion of the panel was not a downer, however. Everybody agreed that one of the ways to change things is to use our voices, and the media available to us. Talking about women's work, its significance, its entertainment value, and who might enjoy it if you like X, Y, or Z, and linking to interesting discussions, is one way of getting the word out about books that are otherwise ignored by the standard media.
sartorias: (Default)
Michelle Sagara sounds off about panelist behaviors--read all the way down. That last one especially made me wonder if these points go for bloggers, too?
sartorias: (Default)
Michelle Sagara sounds off about panelist behaviors--read all the way down. That last one especially made me wonder if these points go for bloggers, too?
sartorias: (Default)
The Nebula panel is about publishing your backlist, but it could be just as useful for people who want to experiment with e-publishing whether they are newbies or oldies.
sartorias: (Default)
The Nebula panel is about publishing your backlist, but it could be just as useful for people who want to experiment with e-publishing whether they are newbies or oldies.
sartorias: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] alecaustin has put up a post about good panels and bad panels and what he thinks makes both. Lots of chewy ideas here.

The one that gets me thinking is the "leaving the audience behind" panel. Is that possible, given a subject that doesn't require arcane knowledge, such as a panel on advanced mathematics or chemistry or the sophisticated interconnection of sciences that go to make up space flight?

Talking about books, is it possible to go over the reader's head? I guess if points are made with oblique references to works long out of print in such a way that context isn't clear. Or even to popular works in such a way that the context isn't clear. In other words, Midway through the book the protagonist pulls an unconvincing Lobelia might be oblique to anyone who hasn't read Lord of the Rings or doesn't remember all the characters, whereas saying Midway through the book, the protagonist who started out so obnoxious does something unexpectedly heroic, kind of like Lobelia Sackville-Baggins in LOTR, but I didn't find it convincing in this particular novel. At least that gives the reader who hasn't read LOTR a hint of context.

But then I really like a book panel that begins with people defining what they mean by terms, because not everyone uses them the same way. The meaning of "trope," for example, has done some swift metamorphosis over the past couple of decades. I've seen people adopting Jo Walton's "incluing" and using it in some wildly different contexts. Just the other day, [livejournal.com profile] rushthatspeaks mentioned a term "New Orientalism" that snaps into focus a strand of dialogue that's been emerging on the Net of late.

Yes, no?
sartorias: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] alecaustin has put up a post about good panels and bad panels and what he thinks makes both. Lots of chewy ideas here.

The one that gets me thinking is the "leaving the audience behind" panel. Is that possible, given a subject that doesn't require arcane knowledge, such as a panel on advanced mathematics or chemistry or the sophisticated interconnection of sciences that go to make up space flight?

Talking about books, is it possible to go over the reader's head? I guess if points are made with oblique references to works long out of print in such a way that context isn't clear. Or even to popular works in such a way that the context isn't clear. In other words, Midway through the book the protagonist pulls an unconvincing Lobelia might be oblique to anyone who hasn't read Lord of the Rings or doesn't remember all the characters, whereas saying Midway through the book, the protagonist who started out so obnoxious does something unexpectedly heroic, kind of like Lobelia Sackville-Baggins in LOTR, but I didn't find it convincing in this particular novel. At least that gives the reader who hasn't read LOTR a hint of context.

But then I really like a book panel that begins with people defining what they mean by terms, because not everyone uses them the same way. The meaning of "trope," for example, has done some swift metamorphosis over the past couple of decades. I've seen people adopting Jo Walton's "incluing" and using it in some wildly different contexts. Just the other day, [livejournal.com profile] rushthatspeaks mentioned a term "New Orientalism" that snaps into focus a strand of dialogue that's been emerging on the Net of late.

Yes, no?
sartorias: (Default)
I went to LosCon last weekend, thanks to a couple of local fans who generously offered to carpool with me (since I no longer have a car of my own) I got to go two days instead of the single day trip that has become usual.

Great fun, of course--got to meet a few LiveJournal people, and chat with familiar folk.

One panel I attended I found thought-provoking. That was the "Contract between writer and reader" entry--from the beginning, each of the four panelists (John Hertz, Will Shetterly, Harry Turtledove, and Steven Barnes) translated that quite differently. And the definitions of all four were different from my own.
Read more... )
sartorias: (Default)
I went to LosCon last weekend, thanks to a couple of local fans who generously offered to carpool with me (since I no longer have a car of my own) I got to go two days instead of the single day trip that has become usual.

Great fun, of course--got to meet a few LiveJournal people, and chat with familiar folk.

One panel I attended I found thought-provoking. That was the "Contract between writer and reader" entry--from the beginning, each of the four panelists (John Hertz, Will Shetterly, Harry Turtledove, and Steven Barnes) translated that quite differently. And the definitions of all four were different from my own.
Read more... )
sartorias: (Default)
(And discursion on archetype versus stereotype)

Panelists: Ellen Kushner, Lisa Goldstein, Carole Nelson Douglas, Greg Bear, Patricia McKillip, Joe Haldeman (Delia Sherman)
Read more... )
sartorias: (Default)
(And discursion on archetype versus stereotype)

Panelists: Ellen Kushner, Lisa Goldstein, Carole Nelson Douglas, Greg Bear, Patricia McKillip, Joe Haldeman (Delia Sherman)
Read more... )
sartorias: (Default)
In some ways, this one really shows how things have changed in almost 20 years.

Androgyne--panelists, Ursula K. Le Guin, Jane Yolen, Susan Shwartz, Judith Tarr, Vonda McIntyre
Read more... )
sartorias: (Default)
In some ways, this one really shows how things have changed in almost 20 years.

Androgyne--panelists, Ursula K. Le Guin, Jane Yolen, Susan Shwartz, Judith Tarr, Vonda McIntyre
Read more... )
sartorias: (Default)
"Bedtime Stories"--panelists: Jane Yolen, Debra Doyle, Bruce Coville, Ursula K. Le Guin, Josepha Sherman
Read more... )
sartorias: (Default)
"Bedtime Stories"--panelists: Jane Yolen, Debra Doyle, Bruce Coville, Ursula K. Le Guin, Josepha Sherman
Read more... )
sartorias: (Default)
I got to go, that year, and I took notes on the panels that I attended. Having rediscovered those notes this past summer while sorting stuff to keep or toss, I thought, why not set the notes aside and post them WFC weekend?

People might be interested in what people said about various topics then, and what they think about the same topics now. Bear in mind, of course, that these notes are almost 20 years old, so the context of many of the remarks is forgotten. I apologize if I misunderstood someone, or misstated.
Read more... )
sartorias: (Default)
I got to go, that year, and I took notes on the panels that I attended. Having rediscovered those notes this past summer while sorting stuff to keep or toss, I thought, why not set the notes aside and post them WFC weekend?

People might be interested in what people said about various topics then, and what they think about the same topics now. Bear in mind, of course, that these notes are almost 20 years old, so the context of many of the remarks is forgotten. I apologize if I misunderstood someone, or misstated.
Read more... )

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